Asked & Answered

A&A: What recourse do individuals with disabilities have to access land use proposals during COVID-19?

SUBMITTED | APRIL 15, 2020 Q: Across California and in my backyard developers are putting in plans, and cities have been starting public comment time clocks without the public’s ability to assemble and easily read the documents. This is especially true for those whoa re disabled, without internet access or who don’t have the skill to load and read hundreds of pages of small print documents and drawings on the internet. Per the 2015 census,

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A&A: The public is severely limited in county meeting participation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Is this a Brown Act violation?

SUBMITTED | APRIL 20, 2020 Q: I am writing on behalf of many people in my community who believe that county government is violating the COVID-19 shelter-in-place directives of California Gov. Newsom and the local county Health officer, and the intent of the Brown Act. We seek any help, resources, or pressure you can provide to remedy the problem, as quickly as possible. Many of us have requested in writing and in phone-in comments that

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A&A: Has the public comment requirement changed due to Gov. Newsom’s executive order amid the COVID-19 pandemic?

SUBMITTED | MAY 5, 2020 Q: Has the public comment requirement (Gov. Code, § 54954.3 subd. (a).) changed after Governor Newsom’s executive order? A: In March, Governor Newsom issued executive orders N-25-20 and N-29-20, which temporarily suspended any Brown Act requirements “expressly or impliedly requiring the physical presence of members, the clerk or other personnel of the body, or of the public as a condition of participation in or quorum for a public meeting” during the COVID-19 crisis. Order N-29-20 also states:  “A local

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A&A: The board of supervisors is only accepting written comment before meetings amid COVID-19. Does that violate the Brown Act?

Q: Ostensibly due to the COVID-19 crisis, a Board of Supervisors in California is not allowing public comment during the board meetings, not even on public hearing items. They only allow written comments the day before until 5 p.m. All other public agencies in our area have figured out a way to conduct and allow public comment telephonically or by Zoom meetings. This is especially egregious because we appeared at a March meeting to comment

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A&A: Can I sue New York City for restricting my religious freedom during the coronavirus pandemic?

SUBMITTED | JULY 9, 2020 Q: Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, churches and church members have been banned far too long from practicing their religious beliefs. I had to cancel my wedding. I had to cancel my daughter’s baptism. It was of great importance to my family since we were naming her after my 95-year-old grandmother. A day to honor my grandmother and bless my child. We no longer have the right to do this in

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